Round 2 of the UMIP Social Enterprise Ignition Fund Now Open

  • Are you currently working or studying at The University of Manchester or a recent graduate?Soc-Ent-Tree-Blue
  • Is your idea likely to benefit the public or community, or be an entrepreneurial solution to a societal, healthcare or environmental problem?
  • Do you have the passion to drive your idea forward and set up a project or social business?


Funding from £500 – £2000 is available, for individuals to try out or grow their entrepreneurial ideas. This might mean finding out if your idea is viable, learning more about what is needed to develop the idea by testing the project on a small scale, right through to more robust road-testing of the idea. We also provide one to one support to assist you with your applications and informative workshops for successful applicants.


The funding opportunity is open to all members of staff, academics, research students and recent graduates (graduated within the last 2 years) from The University of Manchester.

Key Dates

Application deadline Friday 24th March 2017

Successful applicants will be informed by Friday 31st March 2017

Click Social Enterprise Ignition Fund Application Form-final to download an application form and contact for further information.

Social Enterprise Ignition Funding Event heralds the launch of the UMIP Social Ignition Funding Opportunity.

The event hosted on Wednesday 12th October here at the Innovation Centre was attended by members of staff, research students and recent graduates from The University of Manchester with the aim of helping individuals to understand what Social Enterprise is, and how they could explore their ideas in more detail.

The event kicked off with Social Entrepreneur Alison Edmonds from Epic Steps CIC, who gave an inspirational talk covering her background and the drivers that led to her setting up her own social enterprise. The second part of the event was led by UMIP Social Enterprise Ambassador, Nickala Torkington, who spoke about the critical success factors in developing a social enterprise project. Nickala ran an interactive session where in groups, the attendees were encouraged to explore their project ideas, think about what the social benefits would be, and to try to identify what would be the next steps to test, trial or develop their ideas in order to take them forward.

UMIP Social Enterprise Ambassador, Nickala Torkington discussing what a social entrepreneur is

UMIP Social Enterprise Ambassador, Nickala Torkington discussing what a social entrepreneur is

The event closed with UMIP Enterprise and Business Development Manager, Dr Laura Etchells, announcing that applications are Now Open for funding of between £500 – £2000, for individuals to try out or grow their entrepreneurial ideas. This can include finding out if their idea is viable, learning more about what is needed and trying the project on a small scale right through to more robust road testing of the idea.

UMIP Enterprise and Business Development Manager, Dr Laura Etchells discusses the support available

UMIP Enterprise and Business Development Manager, Dr Laura Etchells discussing the support available

The deadline for applications is Friday 4th November. For more information and to download an application form click here

The University of Manchester retains HEI of the Year status for Supporting Social Entrepreneurs

The Social Enterprise Team at UMIP and Manchester Enterprise Centre (MEC) were delighted to walk away with a series of accolades at the UnLtd SEEChange Recognition Awards for Social Enterprise which were held in London on 10th June 2015.

Not only did the University retain the prestigious Higher Education Institute of the Year Award for Supporting Social Entrepreneurship but many of its social enterprises and key projects also won awards.

  • Shon Lewis and Charlie Stockton’s Clintouch, a new technology which supports people with pyschosis won the Outstanding Innovation Award. Edwin Broni-Mensah, who graduated just under 5 years ago and was one of the first student winners of an UnLtd development award and a Venture Further finalist in 2010, was a runner-up in this category.
  • Ruth Daniel won the Social Enterprise of the Year Award for her work with In Place Of War, an award-winning initiative which helps to build powerful networks, create social change through creativity and demonstrate the value of the arts to public space, public life and public debate. Amy Win was shortlisted in the same category for her project 4Lunch.
  • Adam Garrow won the Outstanding Achievement Award for Jolly Wheezers and Dr Laura Etchells from UMIP and Dr Martin Henery from MEC were both runners up in the Social Entrepreneurship Champion of the Year category.

James Thompson, Associate Vice President for Social Responsibility at the University commented:

“Social entrepreneurship is at the heart of our University culture and infrastructure and these successes are a great demonstration of that commitment to enterprise, research with social impact and social responsibility. This is a well-deserved show of recognition for the work of MEC, UMIP and all of the staff and student winners and runners-up.”


Making a Difference Awards 2015

Congratulations to all the awardees recognised in the Making a Difference Social Responsibility Awards on the 7th May 2015.

We are please to highlight the winners of the two social enterprise categories;

Outstanding Aspiring Social Enterprise of the Year (trading for less than 1-year)


Ruth Daniel, Co- Director, In Place of War, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Highly Commended:

Ryan Anthony Shoesmith, The Little Missing Piece Co, Undergraduate student, School of Psychological Sciences

Erinma Ochu and Caroline Ward, Farm Lab, Faculty of Life Sciences

Outstanding Social Enterprise of the Year (trading more than 1-year)


Helen Power, Director, Levenshulme Market, Department of Development and Alumni Relations

Highly Commended:

Amy Win, Director, 4Lunch Ltd, Alumnus of the School of Social Sciences

Dr. Joanne Tippett, Director, Ketso, School of Environment, Education and Development

Further details about all the winners and highly commended awardees can be found on the Social Responsibility website


UMIP Awards for Social Enterprise innovation create buzz in Manchester


(1st row l-r: Helen Chilton – High Expectations for Deaf Children, Dr Jenna Ashton – The Silence of the Photograph, Catriona Kennedy – Smart Assistance App, Jane Raftery – MaccFutures, Liz McIllroy- iBop, Dr Raj Ariyaratnam – SOSTEK-M)

As another academic year closes, we were proud to showcase our Social Entrepreneurs to an audience of representatives from the University, successful social entrepreneurs and the local business support community. Our Social Enterprise Competition 2014, which was open to all University staff and academics, has resulted in 7 outstanding social entrepreneurs receiving £14000 of awards to further develop their ideas.

The University of Manchester through UMI3 Ltd and MEC scoop ‘Outstanding HEI Supporting Social Entrepreneurship Award’

The University of Manchester through its programme delivery team consisting of its Innovation Group, UMI3 Ltd and Manchester Enterprise Centre, MEC, have been recognised for their work in supporting and developing social enterprise innovation at the University by winning the ‘Outstanding HEI Supporting Social Entrepreneurship Award’ at the UnLtd National Conference held in London on 17th July.

Professor Luke Georghiou, Vice-President for Research and Innovation, comments: “The University is committed to maximising the impact of our research and to a strong emphasis upon social responsibility. The excellent achievements of our staff and students fulfil both of these agendas. Particular credit goes to colleagues from UMI3 Ltd and the Manchester Enterprise Centre who provided the encouragement and expertise needed to support the emerging successful social entrepreneurs.”

Over the past 12 months, UnLtd and HEFCE have supported 56 Higher Education Institutions in England to take up the challenge of finding and supporting social entrepreneurs within their institutions. The University’s selection allowed the further development of its social enterprise strategy with the announcement of a Social Enterprise Competition to find, fund and support social entrepreneurs from across the University. This undoubtedly expanded the support and offering to social entrepreneurs as well as developing additional tools and resources whilst growing internal and external networks. Social enterprise was incorporated as a specific theme into the Venture Competitions run by MEC and alongside these competition rounds UMI3 Ltd and MEC developed a programme of intensive support from idea generation and application support to mentor brokerage and specialist support.

On hand to offer advice have been established University of Manchester social entrepreneurs, Dr Gill Green of STORM CIC, a company providing self-harm, suicide and self-injury mitigation training for frontline staff and Joanne Tippett of Ketso Ltd, which produces a ‘hands-on kit’ that provides table-top tools to record and display ideas in meetings and workshops. Ketso is the only documented spin-off company from Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research. The Social Enterprise Brief Case, a workshop and workbook designed by specialist innovation company Novomodo Ltd, to inspire social enterprise thinking in Higher Education was launched at the Innovation Centre. This encouraged participants to think in a deeper and more focused way about their hidden potential as well as providing practical advice to assist with the construction of well rounded applications for the competition.

Dr Laura Etchells, UMIP’s Enterprise and Business Development Manager comments: “It has a been a double success for Manchester today with Helen Power from MBS, receiving runner-up in the most outstanding social entrepreneur category. This reinforces the success of the competitions with over 100 ideas being submitted by entrepreneurial staff, students and recent alumni. In total we have allocated over £59000 to 27 award winners from across the whole University Campus and look forward to helping these budding entrepreneurs continue in their journey to success.”

Dr Martin Henery from MEC and our HEFCE Social Enterprise Ambassador comments: “The potential benefits to students, staff, the University and the wider community in the form of experience and skills development, measurable impact of research, experiential learning opportunities and real social impact has only just been begun to be explored. These awards indicate that we are moving in the right direction and we all look forward to working with our current award winners as well as continuing to uncover more exciting ideas and enterprises in order to really scale up our work and more importantly these valuable social benefits over the next few years.”


Image: Lead The Change UnLtd National Conference, UCL. 17th July 2013

(1-r: Rick Watson, Novomodo; Laura Etchells, UMIP; Martin Henery, MEC; Tony Walker, UMIP; Jim Ineson, Enactus)